The Journey: One Year On

Nironkush Rick Das. London.

Fri 30 October 2009 marks a year since the day terrorist atrocities in Assam claimed hundreds of lives in the form of powerful explosives set off at several crowded places. Today also marks the day the JFA formed with a resolve to harness the many and varied talents of its members to contribute towards giving back hope and happiness to the people of Assam. From the start of Assam’s known history, hundreds of communities each with their own language or dialect, cuisine and lifestyle had lived side by side in perfect harmony. Cross-community marriages were common. Women took as much of a lead role as men in most walks of life. At the apex of this social harmony lay the key driving principle that people valued peace.

Dedication to the Victims of 30 Oct 2009 and other terrorist incidents in Assam

Now the JFA joins in to encourage Assam’s people to once again relish taking pride in those values and strive to re-enact them despite what they suffered. Today, Fri 30 October 2009, marks a year since the day terrorist atrocities in Assam claimed hundreds of lives in the form of powerful explosives set off at several crowded places. Today also marks the day the JFA formed with a resolve to harness the many and varied talents of its members to contribute towards giving back hope and happiness to the people of Assam. From the start of Assam’s known history, hundreds of communities each with their own language or dialect, cuisine and lifestyle had lived side by side in perfect harmony. Cross-community marriages were common. Women took as much of a lead role as men in most walks of life. At the apex of this social harmony lay the key driving principle that people valued peace. Dedication to the Victims of 30 Oct 2009 and other terrorist incidents in Assam The JFA ran a funds campaign for nearly a year then applied the money raised in aiding families of some of the worst struck victims. Looking back we realise we haven’t done badly. In British currency, about £ 5000 was spent to cover rents, educational expenses, vocational courses and low-risk financial investments. This has since been supplemented by ad-hoc activities such as JFA’s Biraj Bora training local artisans on Marketing & Processing of Export Goods and JFA’s efforts to get the IBM – Sahana partnership interested in replicating their Disaster Management System to manage Assam’s annual flooding. Some may say the JFA have come quite a way since its foundation. But as JFA members we rather feel we have only passed the beginning. In an internal e-mail, JFA Steering Committee Member Vikram Sharma talks of remembering the many innocents who died and why 30th October 2008 remains an indelible date in our minds – . . . our thoughts go out to the people whose lives changed so irreversibly without any fault of theirs. There have been more such incidents after the 30th of October, but this date stands out as particularly poignant as it is also the day the JFA was born. We have achieved something which is much better than doing nothing and I am a strong believer that we can achieve a lot more.

On that note, Happy Anniversary to all.